Happy Pride! June is Pride Month, when the LGBTQ communities of the world come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves. Though Pride is celebrated with parades, festivals, and big parties, it is so much more: it is rooted in the arduous history of minority groups who have fought to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are. Pride events celebrate the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) Community and are geared toward anyone who feels like their sexuality falls outside of the mainstream. June was chosen as the official Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall Riots; a riot that broke out at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in June of 1969 that became a catalyst for the emerging gay rights movement. In the early hours of the morning, police officers raided the Stonewall Inn and started hauling customers outside, tensions escalating as the patrons resisted arrest and a group of bystanders started throwing bottles and coins at the officers. New York’s gay community, fed up after years of mistreatment and harassment by the authorities, broke out in riots that lasted for three days. The uprising set into motion the formation of many gay rights organizations such as the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance and post riots, members met with political leaders and made sure they were held accountable. A year after the riots, Brenda Howard, a bisexual New York activist nicknamed the “Mother of Pride,” organized the first Pride parade to commemorate the Stonewall uprising. The area around Stonewall Inn, a popular nightspot to this day, was designated a national monument.

Most major cities all over the world have large parades and festivals for Pride, with smaller towns also getting involved with local celebrations. The biggest pride parades in the world take place in Sao Paulo, New York City, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Madrid, and Sydney. If you’re looking for a major celebration in the Pacific Northwest, head to Portland check out PrideNW! A two day festival at the Tom McCall waterfront, running June 16th, 2018 from Noon-8pm and June 17th, 2018 11:30am-6pm, with the parade taking place Sunday, at 11am sharp. The festival will have exhibits, performers, music, tons of food options and FUN! The parade will have over 150 floats, groups, and performers and marches from West Burnside Avenue to the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Come out and celebrate!

Are you a Hood River local and want to show some local love?! Celebrate and show support for Hood River’s LGBTQ community on June 30th! Come out the Waterfront Park at 10am for the Pride & Proper: LGBTQ+ Community Wellness Festival! The festival is hosted by and is a fundraiser for the Columbia Gorge Pride Alliance and will include a 5K Rainbow Fun Run, a Silent Disco Competition, Yoga and Zumba Classes, Community Craft Vendors and Wellness Resources, Kids Activities, live music and more! The 5k Rainbow run starts at 10:15am and the Silent Disco Competition starts at 12:30pm. Stick around after the festival for some 21+ Pride events! Check out the After Party at Whiskey Tango: doors open at 7pm and there will be a special guest DJ and drag pop ups! More of a morning person? Check out the Drag-Over Brunch at River City Saloon on Sunday morning for Drag Queen bingo and bloody mary’s! Come out and show your Pride!